Knoxville fire crews: Closing the door can keep you safe during a fire

Rural/Metro Fire Department

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — As we head into the colder months, it is especially important to remember fire safety in our homes.

The Firefighter Safety Research Institute is pushing a campaign called “Close Before You Doze” to remind people to keep their bedroom doors closed when they sleep at night. The Tennessee Fire Marshal’s Office has been using a similar campaign for a couple years.

Fighting fires is part of daily life for Rural/Metro in Knox County, but they see a lot that can be done to prevent them or at least prevent fire or smoke from harming you.

“The most common thing we see is smoke detectors with no batteries, or smoke detectors that are inoperable or no smoke detector at all,” said Rural/Metro spokesman Jeff Bagwell.

Bagwell said they also see a lot of people who keep their bedroom doors open while sleeping, and when a fire breaks out that can be a problem.

“The biggest thing we want people to do is recognize sleeping with the door closed and keeping it closed in a fire can actually add to the amount of escape time that you’ve got in a house fire. It can add precious minutes,” he said.

That also means having a way to get out your window is key, as well as making sure your entire family has a fire plan in place and a meeting place set outside the home.

“When the first fire truck pulls up, you can walk out and say everybody in our house is accounted for. We’re right here,” Bagwell said.

So far this year there have been 67 people killed in fires in Tennessee. Firefighters say closing the door is a simple thing that could give you all the extra time you need to make it out okay.

“It keeps the smoke at a minimum so that gives you more time to escape,” Bagwell said.

Firefighters also say, if possible, close the door of the room you are escaping from before you leave if it was open before.

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